Ya gotta give it to the delegates at the South Dakota Republican Convention that ended yesterday. They sure won't let common sense, history, political reality and self-respect get in the way of their determination to make collective asininity a public feature of their gatherings. This year they concluded with a determined call for the impeachment of President Obama. One delegate claimed "I've got a thick book on impeachable offenses by the President." Another invoked the cudgel of higher authority by saying "If anyone in this room cannot see the horrendous traitorous scandals run by the Obama administration, I will pray for you."
Good grief. What is it with some Republicans and their propensity to use God (the losing GOP national platform in 2012 mentioned God 12 times vs. zero for its victorious Dem counterpart) as an instrument of political intimidation? On this particular point, I find plenty of fault with Barack Obama's presidency, but I don't consider him traitorous and wonder why on earth anybody feels the need to pray for me over this disagreement. Come off it, fellow Pubs. Religion is an unbecoming fixture on our political sleeves.
Meantime, the SD GOP's doyenne, U.S. Representative Kristi Noem, wouldn't even go along with the impeachment nonsense. "Noem doesn't believe impeachment is the 'best way' to deal with Obama," according to news reports, which was actually a considerable rebuke, coming as it did from a Rep who had no hesitation to go to extremes in the recent past: Noem voted to shut down the federal government last Fall, as well as hobble the U.S. Treasury's ability to pay America's debts by voting against raising the debt ceiling at around the same time. Readers of this blog know that I consider her crazy for having done so. For some of these Republican "Impeach Obama!" hotheads to make Kristi Noem look and sound like a paragon of moderation and common sense says much about the make-up of GOP party workers and pros in South Dakota.
Through all of this I've been scouring news reports and stories about the convention--as well as the SDGOP website itself--to get a rundown on how the state's party comes down on issues of real relevance to South Dakotans. So far I've found none. This is especially dispiriting because all the impeachment noise has effectively crowded out the messages that the GOP should be sending out to South Dakota's voters. I mean, like, wassup with teacher salaries, lousy wages, the labor shortage, Keystone XL, uranium mining in the Black Hills, the ridiculous number of sales tax exemptions, Slaughterhouse EB-5, Medicaid expansion, and so many others? Either the party's right wing prima donnas just sucked up all the media oxygen with their impeachment fixation or . . . Pubs as a group just don't have a clue about where they stand on real issues and created the brouhaha as a cover for their own helplessness.